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S.O.B.: What’s the Truth? (1990)


“What’s the Truth?“ is the second studio album by Japanese hardcore punk band S.O.B.

Background of the Production

S.O.B. is one of the pioneering bands of grindcore and thrashcore. They are known for their influence on Japanese/UK/US grindcore bands including Napalm Death and Brutal Truth. 

S.O.B. was formed as a four-piece rock band around Tottsuan/Yoshitomo Suzuki (vocals) in Osaka in 1985.

The band name “S.O.B.“ is the abbreviated name of “Sabotage Organized Barbarian“. It has been often written as “SxOxB“ since 1993.

In 1986, three members except Tottsuan were replaced by new members: Toshimi (guitar), Yasue (drums), and Naoto (bass).

They became known for their high-speed hardcore punk after releasing the 7-inch EP “Leave Me Alone“ (1986) from Tokyo-based independent record label Selfish Records.

They released the first album “Don’t Be Swindle“ from Selfish Records in 1987.

They toured Europe with English grindcore band Napalm Death in 1989.

Naoto left the band in 1989, and Kawataka (bass) joined the band in 1990.

They toured Europe again in the fall of 1990. At that time, they achieved their first-ever appearance as a Japanese band on John Peel’s show “Peel sessions“ on BBC Radio 1.


  • Kawataka – bass
  • Yasue – drums
  • Toshimi – guitar
  • Tottsuan – vocals


The album “What’s the Truth?“ was recorded on September 16th–19th, 1990, and was released by Selfish Records in December of the same year.

In the UK, the album was released by London-based independent record label Rise Above Records, which was founded by then Napalm Death vocalist Lee Dorrian, in 1990.

The album is characterized by its heavy and violent sounds in the grindcore/thrashcore/death metal style, high-speed tempo, blast beats, death growl, and shouted vocals.

The lyrics are English.

The original Selfish version contains ten tracks.

The Rise Above version includes eight tracks from the EP “Thrash Night“ (1989) as bonus tracks. 

The album was re-released by Toy’s Factory Records in 1994.

The Toy’s Factory version includes six bonus tracks: four tracks from the split EP with Napalm Death, “S.O.B. / Napalm Death“ (1989) and two tracks from the flexi disc “Suck Up Brain Or Fuck Ya Brain? / Nightmare“ (1990).

In 2007, “Rolling Stone Japan” rated the album number 66 on its list of the “100 Greatest Japanese Rock Albums of All Time”.

Track Listing

The seventh and eighth tracks, “Never Ever“ and “Senseless Fantasy!“ are entitled “Never“ and “Slayer“ on the Rise Above version.

  1. Over The Line – 2:06
  2. Meddlesome Heart – 2:03
  3. Unseen Terror – 2:18
  4. Look Like Devil II – 1:37
  5. Obsessed With Wickedness – 1:37
  6. What’s The Truth? – 2:13
  7. Never Ever – 1:31
  8. Senseless Fantasy! – 2:26
  9. Repeat At Length – 1:46
  10. Why? – 2:24